Quick, Slow, Slow

Today I read the following scripture.

James 1:19

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

Quick to listen – not ignoring the other person because you are busy or already have your mind set on your own ideas. Listen intently! Stop what you are doing, including picking apart what the person is saying, and really listen.

Slow to speak – do not interrupt. That is a true sign you are not listening in the first place. Speak only if you need clarification. Allow the idea to be presented completely.

Slow to become angry – realize this does not say “do not become angry.” Anger is an appropriate response to some situations, but during a conversation or debate, it should not be the first response. It should be the absolute last ditch effort. If you start off angry in your dealings with other people, it is almost guaranteed you you will close their minds to you. To start with anger will give the person the sense that you have no love for them.

If someone has done something wrong to you or you find yourself in a predicament where anger and frustration keeps coming up as your first response, try asking questions instead of making statements. Calmly ask, “Why did you do this?” or “Can we change this situation in the future by doing …”. Displaying anger should always the last resort. In my opinion, that anger should never be against the person, but the offending action. If you have allowed yourself to get angry enough to use words and actions against a person, not only will you not solve the problem, but you will have lost the trust and potentially the relationship with the person.

Where do you need to change your listening, speaking and becoming anger in your day today?

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